Florida Police Benevolent Association

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Pension reform is slated to come up during the 2015 legislative session. So, could this be the year local pension reform actually comes to pass? What about overhauling Florida’s Retirement System that opponents say is already sound? We'll take a look at what stakeholders are hoping for in the New Year.

Robert Weissert is the Chief Research Officer for Florida TaxWatch, a government watchdog group, which recently released its annual cost savings report. One area Weissert says state government could save some money is by overhauling the Florida Retirement System.

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The sponsor of a bill requiring law enforcement across the state to wear police body cameras calls his bill a win-win for everyone. But, at least one group representing thousands of Florida police officers disagrees with the proposed mandate.

Rep. Shevrin Jones (D-West Park) filed the bill. Former Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith is set to file the Senate companion.

After the issue died during the 2014 session, should Florida lawmakers revisit a push to make changes to municipal pensions largely affecting police and firefighter unions? A coalition made up of mainly business-backed groups say yes. But, some say while they agree, the recent formation of the coalition pushing for local pension reform is disingenuous.

Bill To Be Filed In 2015

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As Florida lawmakers look to overhaul the state’s retirement system, there are multiple hurdles ahead for the pension reform proposals now before the Senate. The two chambers haven’t agreed on a plan yet, a special exemption is splitting employee unions, and a study with the necessary numbers is not yet complete—pitting some Republicans against one another.

Trilby Republican Senator Wilton Simpson, who’s leading his chamber’s effort, says he’s particularly proud of the “Deferred Compensation” program.

Voters in Florida rejected most of the proposed constitutional amendments on their ballots Election Day. Critics have even partly blamed the historically long ballot for the long lines at polling places. Out of 11, only three gained 60-percent of the votes needed to pass.

“Failure to follow procedural rules” is what it took for a long-standing battle, over the constitutionality of a prison privatization plan, to come to an end.  That’s what a Florida appellate court stated Tuesday when a rejected a request by Attorney General Pam Bondi to overturn a lower court’s ruling, which blocked the plan.

As a legal battle to privatize South Florida prisons continues, an appeals court, expected to hear oral arguments next month, has pushed the date back. Sascha Cordner has more.

The First District Court of Appeals originally scheduled oral arguments in the prison privatization suit for June 13th. But, the appeals court recently moved the date to June 27th. Matt Puckett with the Florida Police Benevolent Association says the Attorney General’s office asked for the extension:

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